Assassins Review: Vindicare Assassin


One shot is all this deadly lone hunter needs. Howdy gamers, Mr.MoreTanks back with a review of the Vindicare Assassin.  When it comes to sniping, nobody does it quite like the Vindicare, nor do they look quite as fly doing so.  If you’re looking for that competitive edge to make yourself a better nerd, be sure to check out some more articles in the Tactics Corner.


With an extremely impressive stat line, this guy is the envy of many models in the game that claim to be unstoppable genetically engineered killing machines.  Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill of 8: Strength, Toughness, and 4 Attacks; 3 Wounds, Leadership 10, and Initiative 7 are all very impressive.  While our 4++ Invulnerable Save doesn’t make us the most durable model ever, it will often be the difference between life and death.  The Vindicare likes to sit away from the action where it can do the most good and stay away from enemy retaliation.  Unfortunately, this Imperial Assassin has one major hang up that prevents it from being a crazy killer like the fluff might have you believe, but in the right situation, the Vindicare can be an excellent tool that can leave your opponent frustrated.  Let’s check out what makes this guy work.



  • Exitus rifle, the Barret .50 of the 40k universe, this gun has the means to reach out and touch someone.  72 inch range, S X, AP 2, and a Heavy 1, Sniper, and Exitus Ammo means that if we’re sitting and shooting, models be droppin’ yo.
  • Exitus pistol, handy little hand cannon, this guy packs some punch.  12 inches, S X, AP 2, Pistol, Sniper, and Exitus Ammo means that in a pinch, this thing can dish out some serious firepower.
  • Existus ammo, this is why you’re here.  We’ve got three options when it comes to our ammo, and they’re all pretty respectable.
    • Shield-breaker, you can’t take an Invulnerable save from this shot.  Pretty neat.
    • Turbo-penetrator, S 10 against vehicles and causes D3 Wounds against non-vehicle models as opposed to just 1.
    • Hellfire, means that our shots will wound on a 2+ vs. 4+.  Huge difference.
  • Spy mask, so long as we’re not firing Snap Shots, all our hits Ignore Cover.  Awww Yissss!
  • Blind grenades, can’t beat defensive grenades.
  • Close combat weapon, gives us an extra attack in close combat thanks to that handy little pistol.


Special Rules: (Buckle in, you’ll be here awhile.)

  • Fearless, FDR doesn’t know shit.
  • Infiltrate, I hate the wording of Infiltrate, but it is a good rule, and you can easily put the Vindicare in an out of the way place with lots of cover where you can blast the enemy.
  • Move Through Cover, ain’t nobody got time for tripping on rocks!
  • Stealth, gotta love that boost to our Cover Save.
  • Deadshot,  as long as you’re not firing a Snap Shot, all your hits are Precision Shots.  Pretty handy, and something we’d expect of the Vindicare.
  • Independent Operative, can never join or be joined by another Character.  Additionally, if he’s the warlord, he can’t have a Warlord Trait.
  • Lightning Reflexes, gives us our 4+ Invulnerable Save, as well as preventing our Initiative from suffering from charging through terrain.  You won’t do that too often, but when push comes to shove, its a good option to have.
  • No Escape, subtracts 2 from every Look Out Sir roll against wounds inflicted by the Vindicare.  Pretty handy.
  • Operation Assassinate, in a game using Victory Points, if a model with this wound inflict the last wound on the enemy Warlord, making it a casualty, then you score a bonus Victory Point.


Okay, so first things first, if we want to get the most out of our assassin here, we have to come to grips with an annoying truth.  He’s really not that durable.  That being said though, we are given the tools to try and work around that, Stealth combined with an insanely high ranged gun means that we can hide in the back among Ruins or similar terrain and stay away from the enemy’s wrath.  You’ll want to make sure you’re located in a spot that provides plenty of cover, but also doesn’t impede line of sight.  This can be tricky, but you’ll be thankful when your assassin lived long enough to give you a good return on your points.  3 Wounds is respectable, but with only Toughness 4 and a 4++, all it takes is one roll of a 3 on a die for our Assassin’s mission to be over.


The Vindicare does very well on the top of a Bastion, and can really go to town with a quad gun or lascannon.  The Spy Mask lets you Ignore Cover, which can send pesky Flying Monstrous Creatures or Flyers packing.  Since these weapons come with skyfire. so that the Assassin isn’t Snap Firing, we gain the benefits of the Spy Mask.  Additionally, the Bastion will provide good cover while raising the Assassin up and above the battlefield giving him a good line of sight.  The Bastion also is placed by you, which means that you can ensure that it ends up in a place that can be way out of the enemy’s range while still keeping an eye on most parts of the battlefield.  I really like this pair, but it can be a bit of a points sink.  If you’re playing a heavy reserves army, throwing a comms relay on the Bastion is another option, but I think an Ignore Cover quad gun or lascannon could be really mean when combined with the Vindicare’s Spy Mask.  Something to think about anyways.

The ammo is what really makes the Vindicare special, though we can only use one at a time, these are way we’ll get what we want from our Vindicare.  The biggest issue with being a Sniper weapon is the default wounding on a 4+, this is just like the Invulnerable Save, its simply just not reliable.  This is why the Hellfire round to be is quickly one of the most tempting options for the Exitus ammo, being able to almost totally guarantee that an AP 2 wound that Ignores Cover is placed onto a model that has a -2 to its Look Out Sir! roll is hard to pass up.  The Turbo-penetrator round can be very handy against Vehicles, and should be considered in those cases, but I’d be wary of relying on it against non-vehicle models.  D3 Wounds on anything is fantastic, but only getting that half the time after you hit, can be an issue.  A 50-50 chance simply isn’t that reliable.  That being said, this shot can really pay off for you if you’re attacking a character in a deathstar that you simply need to kill.  Think Loth or a Librarian in a Centurion Star, or a Commissar in a Guard Blob.  The Shield-breaker is cool, but you’re almost certainly better off going for a target without the Invulnerable Save or trying to inflict multiple wounds instead.


As for close combat, the Vindicare actually gets a lot of Attacks and thanks for defensive grenades can take some of the teeth out of units that might charge him.  He can often fight off a combat squad of Space Marines, or other small unit that can get into the backfield and be obnoxious.  Be careful though, his lack of durability becomes painfully apparent in hand to hand combat.  Close combat is the worse case scenario for this guy, but its an unfortunately reality that he might actually be somewhat prepared for, at least enough to get away from it.

The Execution Force formation is a gun formation, but not really something you want to bring to a competitive game.  All 4 Assassins on the board is pretty hilarious, and can make for some great forging of narratives, but the staggering points costs for this unit means that you should really only be bringing one of these killers to your games.

The Vindicare pairs well with aggressive armies, that way he can stay back and alive while your opponent has to deal with the immediate threats in their face.  Bikes and the Battle Company, especially Drop Pods are an excellent example, along with Knights.  The Assassins can pick out special weapons or close combat weapons and neutralize them so your other forces can react against them with far less to fear. He’s also solid for camping a backfield objective. A good combo we’ve used with him, is to put him in a spare transport vehicle, such as a Rhino, where he can fire out the top hatch and gain some much needed protection.

At the end of the day, the Vindicare is not a bad unit, but it suffers heavily from the mechanics of being stuck at wounding almost always on a 4+, while this can be mitigated by the Hellfire round, getting locked into using only one type of ammo defeats the purpose of having multiple types of ammo.  Combined with his lack of durability, and you can see why this killer isn’t really more prevalent on the table tops.   Don’t get me wrong though, when the Vindicare works, he’s fantastic, but he’s really not as strong as a guarantee as you may like.  Its not a bad unit, just not always a reliable one, but its certainly a fun unit.  Thanks for reading fellow nerds, let us know what you think of the Vindicare below, and may the dice be ever in your favor.  We sell Games Workshop product here at Frontline Gaming at up to 25% off, every day, with those new Assassin clamp packs coming out, you can finally bust out the new Assassins in style.



About Mr.MoreTanks

Lover of gaming, whiskey, steak, poker, and politics. T.O. of the and events.

35 Responses to “Assassins Review: Vindicare Assassin”

  1. Dakkath January 7, 2016 12:45 am #

    Stick him on the 2nd or 3rd floor of some ruins and he’s good to go

  2. firewaspuk January 7, 2016 1:01 am #

    What he could really do with is changing the sniper to strength 5, that would solve the 4+ problem while maintaining the usability of the various ammo types.

  3. Pascalnz January 7, 2016 2:09 am #

    if you have ammo thing.. darn my memory…. on a fortification it lets him reroll 1s to wound.. or to hit. anyway it’s a way to try and buff that annoying 4+ to wound.. or
    Put him in an aquilla strong point firing double D large blast at BS7 ignores cover and precision shot with -2 on look out sirs. expensive… sure fun… quite possibly:)

    • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 5:03 am #

      Ammo Stores and Ammo Dump (which can variously be purchased for fortifications) let you reroll to hit, not to wound.

    • westrider January 7, 2016 2:39 pm #

      His Ignores Cover ability doesn’t work with Blasts, as they don’t roll To-Hit. It requires a successful To-Hit roll to trigger.

      • Mr.MoreTanks January 7, 2016 2:58 pm #

        Disagree, prescience still works on Blasts. They still roll to hit, they simply use the scatter dice.

        • westrider January 7, 2016 7:51 pm #

          The first sentence of the Blast Rules says that the do not roll To-Hit. Later, there’s a bit that tells you what to do if you would get re-rolls To-Hit. This explicitly replaces re-rolling To-Hit.

          Blasts are also one of the most common examples given when the Rules talk about attacks that do not roll To-Hit.

          • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 7:57 pm

            “If a model has the ability to reroll its rolls To Hit and chooses to do so after firing a Blast weapon, the player must re-roll both the scatter dice and the 2d6.”

            The very text you mention strongly implies that the scatter roll IS a blast weapon’s to-hit roll, since it refers to it as such.

            Blast weapons do not roll to hit _normally_; they have their own special mechanic for doing so.

          • westrider January 7, 2016 11:25 pm

            “When firing Blast weapons, models do not roll To-Hit. Instead…” It’s clearly a different procedure. And, again, Blast Weapons are used as the main example of “Weapons that do not roll To-Hit” in the Gets Hot section.

            At most, you could argue that if you got a Hit on the Scatter Die, it would kick in, but if you get an arrow, no way.

          • westrider January 7, 2016 11:28 pm

            The text you quote is describing how to apply a different effect to a Rule that otherwise would have no defined effect. It’s cutting corners in the wording, but not laying down anything to contradict the other very clearly worded instances of Scatter not being a To-Hit roll.

      • Hiveminded January 8, 2016 2:43 pm #

        I’ve seen this interpreted both ways. It would be great to have this question clarified in the ITC FAQ.

  4. Lord Krungharrr January 7, 2016 4:01 am #

    I havent had much luck doing any damage with my Vindicare in the ten or so games I’ve used him. I agree that the hellfire rounds versus special/heavy weapons or non character wargear dudes is the best use for him. Pesky banners or apothecaries, stuff like that. Though I haven’t tried him in a pod behind armor for the turbo pen pistol. Situational but another interesting option if there’s a spare fast attack pod somewhere.

    • Reecius January 7, 2016 3:00 pm #

      He’s good for plinking away at GMCs, too.

      • Hotsauceman1 January 7, 2016 3:09 pm #

        So the Hellfire would wound on a 2+ then vs. GMC?

        • Reecius January 7, 2016 3:16 pm #


          • Hotsauceman1 January 7, 2016 5:06 pm

            Sweet, Now I wouldnt mind taking it.

  5. Vercingatorix January 7, 2016 8:48 am #

    I feel like so many units and combos hinge on super important IC’s it seems like he should be really good.

    • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 10:31 am #

      Problem is that he’s not actually all that hot at taking out ICs, even with his rules. First of all, he’s gotta hit- normally not a problem, but many of the most dangerous ICs are protected by Invisibility, a Void Shield, or a 3++ save (or all of the above.) Second, he’s gotta not only wound, but do enough wounds to matter- spending three turns taking out Tiggy or a Farseer just doesn’t cut it. Third, even with his penalty to LOS rolls, they still have a 50% chance to hand the hit off to someone else.

      In practice, what this means is that trying to kill a typical three-wound character with a 4++ save who is hanging out inside a squaad will take more turns of shooting than there are in the game, even without any special buffs or shenanigans.

      • Vercingatorix January 7, 2016 10:53 am #

        Yeah, he really needs to have EVEN more insane rules like ALWAYS hit on a 2+ ignore cover, D3 wounds and no look out sirs.

        I think the strength 10 against vehicles is kind of stupid. Like most things in this game “swiss army knife” style units are usually pretty bad. They lose to the player that brought a sword and a wine opener.

        • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 12:22 pm #

          *shrug* There are lots of ways to make a model do its job without just piling on a million special rules. The problem is that GW doesn’t generally understand which qualities of a model are important in making it functional at what it is “supposed” to do.

          • fluger January 7, 2016 1:13 pm

            He should be 50 pts I think.

      • Mr.MoreTanks January 7, 2016 3:01 pm #

        Yeah Puppy hits a lot of the problems I have with him.

  6. Kevin Lantz January 7, 2016 9:46 am #

    I’m curious why so many casual play votes, when tourney wise, he’s still an amazing choice. very few armies have such a reliable tank/transport popper that can also pick out feel no pain givers out of squads without issue.

    • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 10:28 am #

      It really comes down to his fragility. Although more survivable than the Eversor and (arguably) Callidus, he’s still just T4 W3 at the end of the day and it’s not hard for someone to pop some Bolter or Scatter Laser shots into him and watch him fall down. Also, as the article mentions, while he will virtually always hit, his reliability of doing significant damage is a lot lower- Hellfire will only do one wound (and thus is lackluster against MCs and characters) and Turbo-Penetrator against a vehicle may be S10, but it will generally just ping off a hull point, which just doesn’t cut the mustard.

      For as many points as he is, as much as he asks of you (dedicate one of your detachments to him, find a good sniper perch, get the first turn, etc) the return just doesn’t measure up. Sadly, this is the case with all of the assassins in my opinion- even the vaunted Culexus I find too often just gets crushed by a stronger CC unit or worn down by basic guns as he fails some 4++ saves.

      • Reecius January 7, 2016 3:15 pm #

        Yeah, that’s been my experience, too. He dies quite easily. Once trick I have used is to toss him in an empty Rhino and have him shoot out the hatch. Protects him quite a bit.

  7. Hotsauceman1 January 7, 2016 10:24 am #

    Im confused by the hellfire round. its says it always wounds on a 2+? Is it still a sniper weapon though? Does it still wound GC on a 6? it isnt poison like it used to be.

    • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 10:35 am #

      Unlike other “Hellfire” weapons, it is not Poisoned. Though it is still a Sniper weapon and thus theoretically affected by the GC’s special rule, the Hellfire round is more specific than the GC rule and is an obvious case of codex trumping rulebook.

      • Hotsauceman1 January 7, 2016 10:37 am #

        But is the round itself is a sniper weapon?
        that is what is confusing me. becuase it says “Always wounds on a 2”

        • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 12:24 pm #

          The Exitus Rifle is a weapon with the Sniper rule, and thus ALL of the special ammunitions will have that rule as well, as they all simply apply _additional_ rules to the normal statline of his weapon.

          Sniper weapons typically wound on a 4+, but other special rules can modify that. The Hellfire Ammo is one such rule.

          • Bogalubov January 7, 2016 2:14 pm

            In 7th edition I’m pretty sure sniper rifles are S4 base…so you can wound those guardsmen on a 3!

          • abusepuppy January 7, 2016 4:12 pm

            Actually due to the Sniper rule (which is different from Poison, which would work as you describe) they ALWAYS wound on a 4+, unless another rule supercedes that- the weapon’s Strength has no effect in most cases, even if it would normally be superior. Most Sniper weapons are listed at Str X or Str 1, though, so this rarely is an issue. (They do count as S4 against vehicles, though.)

  8. bigpig January 8, 2016 1:18 am #

    Stick him in a firestorm redoubt, or an Aquila Strongpoint (if able to use that piece of terrain) for some real fun use of the mask.

    • bigpig January 8, 2016 1:18 am #

      bah, forgot the redoubt was autofire only as I posted :). Big blast only it seems 🙂

      • RauPow January 8, 2016 11:57 pm #

        Plasma Obliterator on the other hand…

  9. Mike January 9, 2016 9:47 am #

    My vindi, who only sees field time in strictly casual games, has gone on multi-game streaks of causing 0 damage, including games where he’s left alive the whole game.

    One shot per round is no bueno, no matter how boss it is.

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